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Regular Rental Property Inspections: Why It Is Important For Utah Landlords

A residential property needs to be maintained to ensure its longevity and value. Most landlords in the rental housing market don't reside on the premises; therefore, they rely on the renters to keep their Salt Lake City investment property in good condition.

To ensure a tenant is maintaining the condition of the rental property, it's crucial for landlords in Salt Lake City to perform regular property inspections. Additionally, you can ask your Utah property management company to conduct routine inspections on your behalf.

Despite your best efforts to screen tenants and select the most qualified individuals, the fact of the matter is that this won't always convert into good property maintenance habits. This article will discuss the top reasons to conduct regular rental property inspections in Utah, among other things. Let's get started! 

What is a Property Inspection

A property inspection, sometimes referred to as a rental inspection, is an examination carried out by a landlord or their Utah property manager of a rental home that is currently, has recently, or will soon be occupied by a tenant. At crucial times during the rental cycle, these inspections are carried out to confirm the condition of the unit.

Landlords and Utah property management companies are authorized to inspect their rental properties while they are occupied by tenants, in addition to inspecting them during move-in and move-out.

These inspections are permitted as long as the required notice is given and the visit's objectives comply with state regulations. While some states, like Utah, permit routine inspections, others require a specific reason or time to pass between inspections.

Types of Inspections to Conduct

There are four different kinds of inspections that are commonly done on rental homes in Utah. Each assessment has the following goals: to keep tabs on the property's state, to establish guidelines for how you anticipate the renter will care for the property, and to address problems swiftly. They include the following:

1. Security Inspection

Security inspections are usually carried out every four to eight months during a twelve month tenancy. The amount of notice to the tenant and the frequency of the inspections should be specified in the lease agreement executed by the landlord or Utah property manager.

2. Move-In Inspection

A move-in inspection will enable you to ascertain the state of your investment property and all its assets before a tenant takes possession. The inspection should be carried out by the landlord or a property management company in Utah with a detailed report that documents the condition of the home. This report may or may not be provided to the renter; however, it is a good reminder to the tenant that they are responsible for keeping the unit in the same condition when they vacate as they received it at move-in.

The report should also be used to compare and evaluate any damages or repairs during move-out inspections and subsequent inspections.

3. Drive-By Inspection

A drive-by inspection is one of the only exempted instances from giving the tenant the required notice outlined in the lease agreement, since no one will be going inside the unit. A simple drive-by is used to evaluate the home's exterior and determine whether a more thorough inspection will need to be conducted by the landlord or property manager in Utah.

4. Move-Out Inspection

The landlord or Utah property management company will conduct the move-out inspection, just as they did the move-in. The day the renter vacates the property should be set aside for the walkthrough and the tenant may or may not be present for this inspection.

If there are any damages to the property, they must be documented. These will also need to be compared to the move-in inspection to determine if they were present before the tenant moved in. The security deposit can be used to repair the damages and will need to be outlined in the deposit disposition provided to the tenant.

Benefits of Regular Property Inspections

  • To ensure there is no unlawful activity going on

Examining how tenants use your investment property can help to avoid problems later. Planning routine inspections can prevent illicit operations from happening at your Utah rental property.

  • To preserve your property's value

You may have heard horror stories about landlords or property managers in Utah inspecting a rental property after a tenant leaves only to find that the place has been damaged, renovations have been made without permission, or significant repairs are required to get the home rent-ready again. Regular inspections will help you keep your property's value and prevent this situation from happening.

  • To ensure renters' adherence to the lease terms

Since no two renters are the same, it's crucial to include a set of agreed-upon guidelines in the lease. For instance, you could specify that tenants may not have any pets in the property or that they are responsible for maintaining the yard. Even the best renters may violate the terms of the Utah lease agreement and by informing them that there will be frequent property inspections, it may help to motivate them to adhere to the terms of the agreement.

  • To identify what maintenance and repairs are required

Minor repairs can eventually become big ones if they are not checked regularly. For instance, if a little leak is ignored, it can escalate into a significant issue resulting in water damage or mildew formation. It's crucial to determine what maintenance and repairs are required because something that costs just a few dollars to repair could end up costing hundreds or more. 

By ensuring that the electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning systems are in good operating order, you can also help keep your tenants satisfied.

  • It helps in tenant-landlord communication

You may be a landlord near your rental home or you might live in another state and utilize a Utah property management company. Whatever the situation, regular rental property inspections establish a forum for the tenant to express any concerns while also reminding them of the agreed terms in the lease agreement.

Take the Time to Protect your Investment.

Owning a rental property in Salt Lake City requires either active management on your part or hiring a property manager. Inspections of your rental will preserve your investment, reduce long-term vacancies, and lower liability risk. 

Similar to other industries in Utah, you'll discover that most companies will assert that they are the best property managers for various reasons. Still, in reality, only a few will offer truly exceptional service. Wolfnest is the only property management company that will take as much pride in your property and manage it as if they owned it themselves. They are also the most responsive and extremely reasonably priced.

For assistance in managing your property inspections, contact our skilled property manager today!

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